Advanced healthcare directives are essential to planning for future issues we might hope we never have to deal with. Too often, people put off creating these documents until it’s too late.
If you have a loved one who is terminally ill, or if you are in a situation where you might not be able to make decisions about your care, having an advanced healthcare directive in place can make a world of difference.
Advanced healthcare directives benefit everyone
Advanced healthcare directives are documents that let others know what kind of medical treatment you want to receive if you cannot communicate your wishes. They typically cover life-sustaining treatments, end-of-life care, and organ donation.
The most common type of advanced healthcare directive is a living will, which outlines an individual’s preferences for end-of-life care.
There are several reasons to have a living will in place, including:
- It avoids putting the burden of making difficult decisions about your medical care on your grieving loved ones. Forcing them to make the decision of taking you off life support will add to their sorrow, and they could be second-guessing their choice for years to come.
- Without a living will, there is also the risk that you may receive treatment that you would not have wanted or that your family may disagree about what course of action to take.
You may think you can put off creating a living will until you are older. But, accidents can happen even if you are in the prime of your life. When you are in the estate planning process, ensure that advanced directives are part of that plan.